“Phone signals are still posing a crash threat to some Boeing 737 and 777 aircraft models. Airlines that currently operate aircraft that require corrective action include American, United, and Ryanair.” (thepointsguy)
“Today, potentially hundreds of planes worldwide are still flying with the unsafe systems cited in the FAA report. Boeing Co. found the interference in a laboratory test in 2012 and hasn’t seen similar issues on other aircraft, a company spokesman said. Atlanta: U.S. government officials in 2014 revealed an alarming safety issue: Passenger cellphones and other types of radio signals could pose a crash threat to some models of Boeing 737and 777 airplanes. More than 1,300 jets registered in the U.S. were equipped with cockpit screens vulnerable to interference from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and even outside frequencies such as weather radar, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which gave airlines until November 2019 to replace the units made by Honeywell International Inc. Today, potentially hundreds of planes worldwide are still flying with the unsafe systems cited in the FAA report. Flight-critical data including airspeed, altitude, and navigation could disappear and “result in loss of airplane control at an altitude insufficient for recovery,” the FAA said in the safety bulletin, known as an airworthiness directive. Honeywell hasn’t heard of any blanking display screens caused by cell phones or other radio frequencies while an airplane was in flight, spokeswoman Nina Krauss said. When airlines and Honeywell argued that radio signals were unlikely to cause safety problems during flight, though, the FAA countered that it had run tests on in-service planes — and the jets flunked.” (livemint)
“Flight-critical data including airspeed, altitude, and navigation could disappear and “result in loss of airplane control at an altitude insufficient for recovery,” the FAA said in its 2014 safety bulletin, known as an airworthiness directive. Numerous mobile phones left on during any airplane flight “could be a real problem,” said professor Tim Wilson, department chair for electrical, computer, software and systems engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The greater the number of phones emitting radio signals, he said, the greater the potential for interference with a plane’s flight system. Honeywell says that 70 or fewer planes with affected display screens require repair. That may leave a lot of screens unaccounted for. (losangelestimes)
“Both Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have completed their overhauls, according to the companies. American Airlines Group has 14 more jets that need refurbished units, and United Airlines still needs to replace components across 17 aircraft, representatives from those companies said. Ryanair Holdings, the large Irish-based discount carrier, told the FAA in 2014 that its planes held 707 of the affected Honeywell units and argued at the time that changing out all of them “is imposing a high, and unnecessary, financial burden on operators.” (fortunemagazine)
“The report was from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and notes that certain display units (DUs – cockpit screens) made by Honeywell International are vulnerable to interference.
“The report says that interference can come from “Wi-Fi, mobile phones and even outside frequencies such as weather radar.” Apparently, over 1,300 aircraft registered in the U.S. were affected. The FAA has given airlines until November 2019 to replace the units. This is what the FAA gave as a reason for the issuance of their 2014 airworthiness directive.
“We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of flight-critical information displayed to the flightcrew during a critical phase of flight, such as an approach or takeoff, which could result in loss of airplane control at an altitude insufficient for recovery, or controlled flight into terrain.”
Affected aircraft: Boeing 737 – Boeing 777
According to the FAA, the AD applies to all “Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes, and Model 777 airplanes.”(simpleflying)
Most of the cockpits have been grounded and updated some time ago. This has given cabin crew and passengers a false sense of safety. If someone doesn’t turn their phone off after a few warnings most crew just give up and walk away nowadays. As it probably wasn’t that big a deal. We would return to the galley and see our co-workers still on their phones or we would even still have our own phones on until just before take-off. (Guilty as charged here.)
However, honestly, if I were flying at American, United or Ryanair right now then I would take heed to the warning. I would encourage cabin crew to play it safe on these aircraft and be vigilant for compliance with your passengers and your fellow crew until this upgrade is completed in Nov 2019 on all US Aircraft at American and United. Take note of the aircraft series still affected and listed above. It is better to play it safe than sorry. The response from Ryanair is very telling. They clearly could just care less about passenger or crew safety and really have no intention of doing anything about it. You really get what you pay for when it comes to flying on this modern-day ULCC so-called Ultra Low-Cost Carriers. The fares are super cheap and bare-bones. Well so is their aircraft maintenance programs which are also super cheap and bare-bones. You get what you pay for in this world. There is no free lunch in life. How do you think Spirit, Allegiant, and Ryanair can provide such low fares? The costs have to be cut somewhere and this is usually cut in an area the passenger can not see which is the cost of aircraft maintenance. Spirit makes their cuts with their outsourced C-check engine overhaul and wet seal replacements which cause near-weekly Fume Events. Allegiant cuts in nearly every area possible and that is why they have emergency landings weekly. Ryanair is just now stating its complete oblivious indifference to repairing the Honeywell flight screens that could cause a plane crash from cell phone interference. Therefore, the next time you chase after the absolute lowest airfare in the market to fly on a ULCC airline carrier. It might be time to determine and ask yourself a question. What is your life worth?
Aviation Travel Writer: The Flight Times Blog